Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fall 2006 Florida MSA Conference

MSA is an acronym for Meat Sheep Alliance.

The fall conference was a two-day affair last Friday and Saturday, October 20 and 21.

Actually Thursday was an optional trip to the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie Georgia so it could be said that the conference was three days long. We didn’t take the trip so can’t comment on that part of the event.

Other than the field trip, the conference was held at Lake City Community College.

I was surprised to see that part of the setup included quite a number of live animals, specifically sheep and sheep dogs.

Lake City has no Ag school and no ready-made facilities for containing livestock. Pens were set up in and around a large truck garage.

Several talks and classes were given by a lineup of imported heavy hitters in the realm of sheep husbandry. Several Veterinarians with advanced specialties, as well as PhD’s in Breeding and Genetics.

When I listen to land grant University types talking about farm policy I either get angry or go to sleep. These guys were not that type.

These folks are over educated farm kids with a passion for livestock and dirt (among other things) under their fingernails. Coming from me, this is a complement.

We took a class in FAMACHA, which is an approach to parasite control that minimizes the use of anthelmintics (chemical wormers).

We saw a herding dog demonstration.

The dogs were show dogs primarily.

Trailer, Sheep, Dog .. No fences .. don't try this at home.

Farm dogs do some (fewer) of the same things, but they do them all day long (if needed) and in all sorts of conditions.

I need one of these (farm type) dogs.

Different breeds of sheep common in this area were present.

Florida Native a.k.a. Gulf Coast Native sheep


Walter Jeffries said...

Good working dogs are wonderful partners to have. I wouldn't want to try to farmstead without them.

Cheryl said...

Now, you can't just leave your 2 blog fans in suspenders like this. How about an update? ;)

WA state

thingfish23 said...

I love those Gulf Coast sheep, and would like to have a couple, but I only have an acre of land - about half of which is underwater several months per year. I guess a fella can dream, though.

I see through the ALBC that the Gulf Coast sheep need all the help they can get... Would they be less prone to the parasites you mention above ("Barber-pole worm", etc)?